Entering into any business arrangement is a two-way street and when engaging a firm to handle your technology, this is particularly true. When trusted with something as critical as a company’s IT infrastructure and data, the attention is often put squarely on the tech firm. What many clients and prospects do not realize is that how they communicate and manage that relationship can have a significant impact on the success of those IT projects and services.
Here are four suggestions to ensure that your next technology engagement is a successful and mutually beneficial one:
- Perfect customers understand that making a change requires buy-in and cooperation from all departments. Many times, when making changes to your company’s business processes and technology, there may be unintended impact to departments and personnel that you have not anticipated. By engaging with all departments and employees from the outset, these types of impediments can be avoided. In addition, by starting that dialogue early in the process, all departments will be aware of anything that they will need to do to ensure that the project is a successful one. Too many times projects get delayed when a critical person or piece of information is not available during implementation.
- Perfect customers trust their technology provider. It is quite normal (and recommended) that you properly vet any new vendors that your company works with. Upon the initiation of that business arrangement, however, it is important for there to be a certain level of trust in the relationship. You have hired them to perform a task or to implement a new project. It is important that you trust them to guide you through their vision and to bring about the results that you hired them for in the first place. Far too many projects get derailed by micromanagement.
- Perfect customers are forthcoming with all of the details related to a project. There have been many instances where we engaged with a company to implement a new project or service only to find out that another firm had already attempted the same project and failed. If we had been notified of the previous attempt prior to starting the project, we could have traced back their steps, found out what caused it to fail the first time, and found a solution prior to beginning the work on the project. By failing to disclose the previous failure, our client put us in a very difficult situation: trying to find a solution in the middle of a project that was already started. Needless to say, failing to reveal critical information can be a big detriment to the success of a project.
- Perfect customers adhere to their IT firm’s processes. The key to successful IT (and running a successful IT business for that matter) is efficiency. Taking the time to understand and follow your provider’s processes can be the element to success for both the client and the provider. For example, if your IT prefers support tickets to be submitted via email with phone calls reserved for “true emergencies only”, following those guidelines can have a significant impact on the relationship. We recommend taking the time to learn your IT provider’s processes prior to any engagement. This will allow you to make sure there is a fit between how your company likes to be serviced and how they like to provide services.
The technology landscape is fraught with failed projects and soured relationships. Following these four suggestions will help build a great working relationship with your chosen IT provider and to help to ensure that your technology projects have the greatest chance of success.